By Niall Clarke
Andy Murray’s bid for a first French Open has reached its penultimate stage, as the Brit will face world number one Novak Djokovic for a spot in the Roland Garros final – With the anticipation levels growing each passing minute, let’s see what the numbers say when it comes to this match-up.
- Statistical look at the Andy Murray vs Novak Djokovic semi-final at the French Open.
Head to head: Djokovic 18-8 Murray.
The head to head makes for tough reading if you are a Murray fan as Djokovic has a +10 differential against the Brit.
The Serbian is on a seven match winning streak against Murray, with the world number three’s last win coming two years ago when he famously beat Djokovic to claim the Wimbledon crowd.
On Clay: Djokovic 2-0 Murray
The majority of their meetings have been on hard courts, but they have met on clay twice before. On both occasions Djokovic was the victor, but they have not met on the dirt since 2011.
Roland Garros Stats Corner
Titles: Djokovic 0-0 Murray.
With Rafael Nadal’s dominance at Roland Garros, neither Djokovic nor Murray have ever lifted La Coupe des Mousquetaires. Prior to this year’s edition, Nadal had won nine titles in ten attempts at the French Open with his only blemish being in 2009 when he lost to Robin Soderling.
Federer won the title that year, but with he and Nadal now eliminated the door has opened for a new winner at Roland Garros. The winner of this semi-final match-up will go on to face either Jo Wilfried Tsonga or Stan Wawrinka in Sunday’s final and will fancy themselves to go all the way.
Djokovic has an impressive record at Roland Garros which includes two runs to the final where he lost to Rafael Nadal. In fact, the Spaniard is the only player to defeat Djokovic at this tournament since 2011.
Andy Murray’s record is not as impressive as Djokovic’s. The Brit has never made the final here with the semi-final being his best result this year, 2014 and in 2011.
Sets lost 2015:
The world number one has been perfect so far this championship, dropping 0 sets so far. Djokovic has dispatched all of his opponents including 9x champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets. He is looking to become only the sixth player in the open era to win a grand slam title without dropping a set.
The third seed has dropped 3 sets en-route to the semi-finals, but has not been taken the distance once. Murray lost a set to Joao Sousa, Jeremy Chardy and David Ferrer before going on to defeat all three of them in four sets.
Year to Date:
Djokovic: 40-2 (5 titles). The world number one has two losses this year to Roger Federer in Dubai and to Ivo Karlovic in Doha. Apart from them two blips, Djokovic has been on fire in 2015, winning his other 40 matches including an impressive 33-0 in Masters and Grand Slam events. With victories in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome and The Australian Open, Djokovic has won every major event he has played in 2015.
Murray: 36-5 (2 titles). The Brit has lost nearly three times as many matches as Djokovic, but despite that his record in 2015 still makes for impressive reading. Even more alarming is his perfect 15-0 record on clay given it is traditionally Murray’s weakest surface. The Brit’s two titles have also come on the dirt after claiming the Munich and Madrid crowns earlier in the clay court season.
Djokovic has only lost one deciding set in 2015, and that came at the start of the year against Ivo Karlovic. The top seed has won his other ten deciders including the fifth set against Stan Wawrinka at the Australian Open.
Murray has not been in as many deciding sets so far this year, but like his opponent he has only the single blip in that record. Funnily enough, that loss came against Djokovic in the Miami open final, losing the final set 6-0.
Both players possess good final set records this year, but with Djokovic winning their only decider and the only fifth set between them in 2015, you would fancy him to win if it goes the distance.
Djokovic boasts an 8-5 record in tiebreaks this year, meaning that he has near enough won one in every two tiebreaks. One of the most notable tiebreak losses in regards to this match is the two he has lost to Andy Murray in Miami and the Australian Open.
Murray’s record in tiebreaks is fairly similar to his opponents, as the Brit holds a 7-4 record this year. One of the losses came to Djokovic in the Australian Open.
If any of the sets are to go to a tiebreak, it seems like it would be pretty much a coin toss going by their records this year.
Record against the top ten:
Djokovic has only suffered one top ten loss this year and that was to Roger Federer in Dubai. On the other hand his 14 victories against the elite further shows why Djokovic is undoubtedly the best player in the world.
Murray has only faced the top 10 eight times this year, but fortunately for the Brit he has won more than he lost. The bad news however, is that the three he has lost this year have all come against Novak Djokovic. The Serb defeated Murray at the Australia Open, Indian Wells and Miami.
Novak Djokovic has hit 190 aces to 62 double faults this year. The percentages also read well for the world number one, hitting 65% of his first serves in, and winning 76% of the points. When he has failed to his first serve, Djokovic has won the point 60% of the time. He has also won 90% of his service games.
Murray has hit 9 more aces than his opponents but also 13 more double faults. Percentage wise, Murray has landed 63% of his first serve and won has won 75% of the points. Whilst his first serve record is similar to his opponent’s, his second serve record is slightly less at 53% points won. Murray has also won slightly less service games than his opponent, with 84%.
On serve, Djokovic has been the more solid player this year but the percentage difference is not enormous.
As one of the best returners to ever grace the game, Djokovic’s return record is expectedly amongst the elite. The Serb has won 35% of his return games, which is only bettered by David Ferrer (36%) this year.
Murray is third in that chart with 34% of return games won. He has won the same percentage of returns points than Djokovic with 43%.
There is not much to separate them when it comes to the return, with Djokovic having only won one percent more return games than Murray.
The numbers tell an interesting tale for a match-up that has been somewhat one sided over the past few years. However, despite all the numbers you have just seen in this article, the most important number is 1. Only one of these two great players can advance to Sunday’s final.
Will it be Andy, or will it be Novak?
Murray and Djokovic are scheduled on Court Philippe-Chatrier, not before 3pm CET (2pm BST).